EU calls for action on severe labour exploitation

The EU agency for Fundamental rights has called out for action on the exploitation of labourers working within the EU

EU calls for action on severe labour exploitation

World Bulletin / News Desk

 The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has called on European governments to help stop cases of severe labour exploitation of workers moving within or into theEuropean Union.

FRA said in a report on Tuesday that the scale of the phenomenon was extremely difficult to assess because its definitions differed between EU countries and so did the measures taken against it. Also, its victims most often never report it.

"Attempts to quantify labour exploitation should be treated with utmost care, such as the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimate that 'around three out of every 1,000 persons worldwide, were in forced labour at any given point in time' over a 10-year period from 2002 to 2011," the report said.

The report identified 217 case studies, which show criminal labour exploitation was extensive particularly in agriculture, construction, hotel and catering, domestic work, and manufacturing.

"What these workers in different geographical locations and sectors of the economy often have in common is a combination of factors: being paid 1 euro or much less per hour, working 12 hours or more a day for six or seven days a week, being housed in harsh conditions, and not being allowed to go on holiday or take sick leave," FRA said in the report.

Those responsible were at little risk of prosecution or of having to compensate victims.

FRA called on governments to ensure a comprehensive and effective system of workplace inspections, which would have close links to the police and public prosecutors.

Also victims' access to justice should be strengthened, through greater efforts to make victims aware of their rights.

Private companies and national authorities should avoid supporting labour exploitation by not contracting or subcontracting companies involved in the exploitation of workers, the FRA report said.

Finally consumers should be made aware, through a system of certification and branding of products, of the risk that a product or service was created involving severe labour exploitation. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Haziran 2015, 06:10